Team effectiveness and Leadership Innovation is Enhanced by the Devil’s Advocate
Every team, in order to be effective, needs to have a devil’s advocate. A devil’s advocate is a member of the team that provides conflicting information and challenges the common consensus to ensure that all alternatives are considered and safety procedures are put in place to avoid the identified problems. Decision making is enhanced through this process and a more confident strategy is enabled with the critically important work of a devil’s advocate.
Benefits of having a devil’s Advocate on the team
• Reduces group think
• Compiles all information for consideration
• Presents uncomfortable information that directly impacts the strength of the decision
• Presents alternate points of view that creates innovative thinking
• Creates more creative and complex team thinking and problem solving
• Prevents flawed decision-making
• Allows for group decisions to be based on all information instead of narrow information
• Allows team members to consider alternatives
• Empowers others to stand for an opposing belief
• Empowers members to disagree with the majority
• Creates innovative solutions and improves employee morale
Keys to implementing an effective Devil’s Advocate role on the team
• Opposition to ideas needs to always be professional and never personal.
• Do not let team members know there is a Devil’s advocate in play because awareness of this role reduces impact on team thinking
• Additionally, awareness of the role reduces respect for the presented alternative opinions
Unfortunately, this practice is eliminated in many group scenarios due to increased ego and an inability to handle criticism for ideas. Some of the greatest failures in our history were due to times when people were afraid to speak out against the majority. When leaders become corrupt with power they do not enjoy any opposition that could challenge their position.
Good for the leader’s ego at the moment – terrible for the organization, and all connecting associations moving forward into the future.
Get your devil’s advocate today!!
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- Team effectiveness and Leadership Innovation is Enhanced by the Devil’s Advocate (leadershipcoachingblog.com)
- Avoiding Groupthink: Avoiding fatal flaws in group decision making (transformationwatch.com)